You’ve probably heard this statement at one point in your life or another. Typically – or at least in our experience – it’s stated just after a missed opportunity, when it feels more like salt in the wound, and probably pretty unappreciated at that point. It’s all well and good that said paremiologist (someone who studies proverbs: Thanks ‘Google’) is just trying to remind you about one of life’s greatest lessons, but what exactly are we expected to learn from this simple statement of fact?
In our collective opinion, probably nothing. The only real way any ‘lesson’ can be learned is if there was a specific time you were meant to be somewhere, and inevitably you weren’t. However, that would allude more to you being an unpunctual shite, rather than someone on the receiving end of a universal ass-kicking as such. So maybe get on that.
There are however, certain situations in which you CAN increase your chances of not suffering through a timing mishap. From a Queenstown perspective, we get asked all the time (seriously, ALL the time) when is the best time to come for this, that, and the other. Each situation is different, but in this instance we’ll concentrate specifically on the one we’re asked most about, which is “when should I come to Queenstown for work/houses/general living?”.
The answer is: before the peak-season, and this goes for both Summer and Winter. When is peak-season? Generally speaking, peak-season Summer is normally between mid-December and Easter, whilst peak-season Winter is normally between Winterfest (20th-ish of June) to end of August. And when we say ‘before’, we don’t mean by a couple of days, we mean by a solid 4 – 6 weeks at least. Each season, just before it really kicks-off in town, comes the rush of all the wannabe seasonaires, all freaking out about their inability to find work or a house, frantically printing off resume’s and complaining about how “everything in the Lakes Weekly Bulletin (QT bible) is taken! This is *expletive*!”. And the reason they’re doing that? Because YOU were smart enough to get here earlier, and get that job/house/car that they really wanted.
But that’s not to say you’re going to walk straight into your chosen profession, with a fully-furnished room downtown for less than $120 a week just because you got here early. Oh no. What you need to do is come here with an open mind, and enough cash to last you a couple of months in a hostel + bond/letting fee for new house + car + season pass (if Winter is your bag) etc. etc. That way, when you do finally get a job, you’re not just living pay-check to pay-check, and you can actually afford to enjoy Queenstown in it’s entirety. It’s also to avoid the doldrums of not finding work, as unfortunately it’s this same time of year that employers will hold off hiring staff for as long as they can to keep operating costs low. But if you’re here with your foot in the door earlier than 90% of the other seasonaires, you’ve already increased your chances by 90%.
So timing in life IS everything, and you can increase your odds, but maybe in this instance “the early bird catches the worm” and “beggars can’t be choosers” work just as aptly in this case. So do yourself a favour – get here early, get your foot in the door, and don’t expect to be handed everything on a silver platter – because timing in life is everything…